"In the inconceivable finiteness of the universe there is nothing new, nothing different. It is a question of statistics, and what may appear exceptional to the minute mind of man may be inevitable to the infinite Cosmic Eye. What appears to be unique may be commonplace. This strange second in a life…that unusual event…those remarkable coincidences of environment, opportunity, encounter or re-encounter…all of them may be reproduced precisely and exactly over and over again on the planet of a sun in the Galaxy that revolves once in two hundred million years and has revolved nine times all ready.
"There are and have been worlds and cultures without end, each perhaps (unaware of the sobering mortification of statistics) nursing the proud illusion that it is unique, irreplaceable, irreproduceable. There have been men without end, suffering from the same megalomania, who have made nations and worlds suffer too. There will be more, more plus infinity. This is the story of such a man…The Demolished Man.
[Alfred Bester, Jan 1952 Galaxy Science Fiction, intro to serialized version of The Demolished Man]